President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired a meeting of the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council at Tuynhuys today, Thursday, 18 May 2023, as part of sustaining Government’s response to the recommendations of the Judicial Commission (“Zondo Commission”) of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector Including Organs of State.
President Ramaphosa appointed the Council in August 2022 as a multi-sectoral partnership for advocacy and action against fraud and corruption.
The Council augments the work done by law enforcement agencies and plays an independent role in terms of combating corruption and other criminal activities. The Council has been established to deepen the country’s efforts to rid society and the administration of corruption, improve investor confidence and secure higher levels of public trust.
Opening today’s meeting, President Ramaphosa said the fight against corruption was among the foremost and most urgent tasks at this moment in the country’s history.
The President said: “We have seen the effects of corruption across society. The State Capture Commission provided detailed and deeply disturbing insight into how corruption erodes the capability of the state and undermines the foundation of our democratic order.
“But we know that corruption in various guises existed before what is now known as the era of state capture and has continued afterwards.
“The fight against corruption is not simply about preventing and prosecuting criminal acts. It is also about fixing the institutional culture, processes and practices that enable unethical behaviour.”
The Council reported to the President on the creation of thematic workstreams to induce, and advise Government on, an all-of-society response to the prevention and prosecution of corruption.
Workstreams are dedicated to developing advice to the President and Government on areas such as the design of a new anti-corruption institutional architecture for the country, as recommended by the Constitutional Court and the Zondo Commission.
The Council has also reached out to civil society, academia and anti-corruption institutions outside South Africa as part of its focus on the creation of a conducive environment for whistleblowers, safeguarding public procurement against corruption, monitoring of the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, and the identification of gaps in legislation that seeks to eradicate corruption.
The Council is due to propose legislative reforms spanning the current Public Procurement Bill, the Protected Disclosures Act and the Political Party Funding Act, to enrich the country’s prevention of corruption and action against crimes involving corruption.
The Council has begun to coalesce around the insight that the building of a corruption-free society demands a shift from the current focus on individual acts of criminality to one on combating combating systemic corruption.
President Ramaphosa welcomed the Council’s update on its deliberations and stakeholder outreach, as well as its preparations for a national dialogue that can form the basis of a national consensus on and commitment to a corruption-free South Africa.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency: Republic of South Africa.